The terms white hat and black hat SEO seem like nebulous terms. White hat vs. black hat SEO seems like a reference to an eternal struggle between good and evil. Actually, the terms refer to specific tactics employed by those hoping to boost a website’s rankings. Black hat SEO nefariously involves trying to cheat the search engines by manipulating results using barred techniques.
Trying to fool the search engines would be a bad idea, a really bad idea. SEO case studies likely show honest approaches work best. Websites and blogs have been wiped away from the search engine landscape due to engaging in black hat techniques. Sad to say, sometimes the person who suffered the penalty simply did not know he or she was doing anything wrong. Worse, they hired someone who didn’t tell them the tactic being employed were black hat strategies.
Black hat strategies come in many forms. One of the classic methods was to keyword stuff a site by adding tons of keywords colored the same as the color of the background. Putting 50 orange-colored keywords in the bottom orange-colored margin of a website was an old-time tactic that is majorly frowned upon these days.
Ultimately, the website publisher suffers from black hat moves.
Do Your Research
Before jumping into SEO work or hiring someone to perform the work, it wouldn’t hurt to perform basic research. There is a lot of material on the internet that covers the good and the bad of search engine optimization. Read up on both and do so before making a regrettable mistake.
Don’t try to absorb all the research overnight. Quite a bit of time is necessary to really understand the basics of SEO. No one has to become an expert, but being knowledgeable about the subject positively won’t hurt. And it wouldn’t hurt at all to perform some research into the firms being considered for SEO work.
Bad Guy Firms
The “bad guys” of the SEO firm world don’t exactly get complimentary reviews. Any company that has been around for a while has developed a track record. Read up on reviews about SEO firms before hiring them. Check out SEO forums and ask questions. Never rush into hiring anyone until at least ascertaining the firm’s basic track record. Such a mistake is not limited to hiring SEO firms. Hiring service providers without clearly learning the professionalism of the person being hired.
Why the Search Engines Aren’t Forgiving
Cheating the search engines serves one purpose: taking shortcuts to move a website up the search engine rankings. A website that lacks quality in terms of content or design should not be ranked above sites that are exceptionally developed.
And the search engines results really look awful when the bulk of the first ten ranked sites are terrible ones. By punishing the low-quality sites trying to cheat the system, the search engines protect their own integrity and reputation. If the search engines weren’t taken seriously, the companies would suffer business-wise.